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September 28, 2000
[random link dump] These links have been sitting around waiting for something to tag them to which never came along: Old Salon interview with Jay McInerney, Slashdot review of Neal Stephenson’s Cryptonomicon, Comics worth Reading and finally, Alan Moore — famous vegetarian!
September 25, 2000
[hey kids! comics!] A while ago Luke from LukeLog asked me to suggest some comics he might like…. Here’s my suggestions and I would imagine they are suitable for any “comics newbie”: From Hell by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell, Ghost World by Daniel Clowes, Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, Why I Hate Saturn by Kyle Baker, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller. General suggestions: anything by Peter Bagge, anything by Alan Moore, anything by Frank Miller, anything by Grant Morrison.
September 22, 2000
[comics] Maggots, Scum, Filth and Turds. Warren Ellis takes a few well aimed pot-shots at the sad and pathetic world of comic price speculation… ‘Speculation on comics prices is shit. Let me say that again for the hard of thinking. Speculation on comics prices is shit. It is for the emotionally and ethically retarded. It is a game for human filth. Rabid speculation led directly to the state of the comics market today. I’m amazed that anyone needs reminding of this. Specifically WIZARD Magazine, which was around to report on it all. And now WIZARD Magazine is promoting speculation once again, jabbering about “portfolios” of collectible comics, its founder Gareb Shamus frothing at the mouth on live TV in his comparisons of comics to stocks and outrageously unsupportable claims of the probable financial returns of comics speculation.’
September 21, 2000
[comics] Alan Moore and Dave Sim discuss Life, Magic, Religion, Comics and pretty much everything in between… [Click the four links for different parts of the conversation] ‘As so, too, From Hell: the Whitechapel murders took place over a finite period of time and claimed a finite number of victims. Looked at in terms of the area of information covered, this appears at first glance to be a containable task with clearly defined limits. The problem is all in the surface detail. As more detail becomes apparent with closer and closer examination, so too does the “surface” of the narrative become more crinkly, prickly, and fractal. The perimeter of the story starts to extend towards infinity.’ [Related Link: The Alan Moore Magic Site]
September 20, 2000
[comics] Fantagraphics presents a Ghost World Gallery. ‘Fuck you bitch… THIS IS MY HAPPENING AND IT FREAKS ME OUT!!’ [Related Links: Dan Clowes]
September 19, 2000
[comics] Warren Ellis interviews Mark Waid. “Look, I’ve said this before: you can make fun of my less-than-lofty goals all you like, but from the time I was 17, writing Superman — or, more accurately, being able to give back to someone who, fictional or not, quite literally saved my suicidal young life — was all I ever really wanted to do. I had no grand aspirations to transform the medium. I was perfectly happy being a journeyman. But the day I was told that I would never, ever, ever be allowed to fulfill that dream — well, that’s when I finally came to my senses and stopped trying to do what a 17 year old wanted to do. Now at least I’m on a road.”
September 13, 2000
[comics] Comic Book Geek Purity Test. I got: “You answered “yes” to 103 of 300 questions, making you 65.7% comic pure (34.3% comic corrupt).” [via Threadnaught]
September 8, 2000
[comics] Eddie’s Campbell’s new website looks good… The Eddie’s Shout section asks: Who Drew Batman? ‘I recently pulled out those 1966, thirty-year-old yellowed paperbacks. There are two panels approximately to a page, some enlarged, some reduced, some chopped up like the cat’s dinner. I’ve been photocopying them and reassembling them back into their original comic book page format so that I may examine the layout styles more thoroughly. Some of the photocopying is made difficult by the fact that many pages have been coloured in with wax crayons. Who coloured Batman? I confess; it was me.’
September 3, 2000
[grant morrison] Interesting transcript of Grant Morrison’s chat on the BBC’s Edfest website. ‘Jinx: Will Zenith be returning to 2000AD? Grant Morrison: Yes shortly and in a fairly bizarre story It starts off with Britney Spears being raped by a robot’ [Related links: plasticbag.org covers the Flex Mentallo / Charles Atlas WWF Smackdown]
August 31, 2000
[comics] What has Evan Dorkin been up to recently? ‘The main project I’m working on is an Eltingville Club animated pilot for the Cartoon Network. The series bible (written by myself and Sarah Dyer) and pilot script (written by myself, story-edited by Sarah) have both been approved, and right now Stephen DeStefano is working on the storyboards. I’ve designed all the characters and as a producer on the pilot I have say on all aspects of production.’
August 29, 2000
little.com cover[comics] BBC News takes a look at Ralph Steadman and his most recent work for children. ‘Steadman says his latest work has the same “wayward spirit” as Fear and Loathing – despite being aimed at a very different audience. “Little.com is different because I’m not so malevolent in it,” he adds. “A children’s book is small world that is large enough for a child’s mind at bed-time.”‘ [Related Link: ralphsteadman.com]
August 26, 2000
[comics] Dylan Horrocks Sketchbook — a couple of intriguing pages covering his latest work — the 1000 page Atlas.
August 25, 2000
[grant morrison] A scan of an early Grant Morrison comic strip — Gideon Stargrave. Originally published in 1978 in a comic called Near Myths. “Are you Gideon Stargrave?” “As often as possible, but you know how it is these days.” [Related Link: TimeMachineGo]
August 24, 2000
[jesus wants me for a sunbeam] Which of your favourite celebrities is an atheist or agnostic? Find out at the The Celebrity Atheist List. Garth Ennis: ‘I’m an atheist, really. But everyone seems to think I’m some terrible lapsed Catholic who suffered the worst of a Catholic upbringing and had the crap kicked out of him by nuns and monks. In actual fact, I’m not Catholic, and I never had any kind of direct religious upbringing at all, although I was exposed to the inevitable religious influence that growing up in Ireland will give you.’
August 23, 2000
[comics] Nice on-line comic — Bobbins. [Links: Start of the Strip, Amusing – A Tribute to Stanley Kubrick :) ]
Transmetropolitan: Back on the Street Cover[comic] Transmetropolitan — website covering the comic of the same name…. ‘Transmetropolitan follows Spider as he harasses people with the ugly, painful truth until they are practically driven insane, fill their pants up with defication wrought of abject terror, or simply kick his ass. Then he writes articles about them.’ [Related Link: Warren Ellis]
August 20, 2000
[comics] OPi8 interviews Brian Michael Bendis. ‘It’s so funny because you never see people at movie theatres go: Well, I won’t go see a Warner Brothers movie. I won’t be seen in a New Line movie. Only in comics does this happen and I am challenging some of my readers to get over their snobby selves, as far as that goes. Because I am not a genre snob. People are sometimes surprised that I love Spider-Man. I don’t mention it or it doesn’t appear that I would, but I adore him! I love the Spider-Man of yesteryear and that’s what they’ve asked me to write. There is no genre or style of comic that I won’t read. I only want my good comics. If anyone’s kicking ass on a comic, no matter that it is about, I’ll buy it!’
August 19, 2000
Who watches the watchmen?[[comics] Fandom reports that there is no sign of any detente between Alan Moore and DC Comics in the light of a 15th Anniversary edition of Watchmen. ‘”Regarding the Watchmen products, any renewed relationship with DC is not anything that people should be placing any hope in at all,” Moore told Newsarama. “I can tell you that right now, I’m having nothing to do with the Watchmen project – I completely disown it. I’m not at all interested if there are any more toys or anything at all comes out, and I shall not be cooperating with the project in any way.’
August 18, 2000
[comics] Excellent interview with Authority writer Mark Millar. ‘…I thought Grant was a bit mad. He was going through his ‘Bizarro persona’ at the time. Did you ever hear about that? As a shamanic exercise, he purposely said the precise opposite of everything he meant for six entire months and broke his vocabulary down into “Me am not want drink of Vodka”, etc. It was very, very fucking scary, and his girlfriend of some years had a breakdown during the course of the exercise. He was a good sort, though, and we hit it off almost immediately thanks to my sterling knowledge of Silver Age DCs.
August 17, 2000
Hicksville Cover[comics] Dylan Horrocks the creator of Hicksville sent an email to the Comix Mailing list recently detailing what he’s currently working on. ‘[..] the monthly should be pretty unmistakably me: I’ve been bamboozling mainstream comics press interviewers by describing it (pretty flippantly) as a cross between Tolkien, William Gibson and Jean Baudrillard. ;-) Anyway, enough about that – lest you fear I’m ‘lost to the dark side’ (as Heidi likes to wryly put it), I’m also hard at work on the first issue of ATLAS, my new series from Drawn & Quarterly.’ [Related Links: Drawn & Quarterly, Comix Mailing List, Review of Hicksville]
August 13, 2000
Image of Cerebus: 'Die alone, unmourned and unloved?'[comics] Interesting usenet interview with Dave Sim the creator of Cerebus from 1992. ‘Nothing frustrates me more than the twentieth century adherence to the notion that you can find out what ‘actually happened’ and that it is necessary for fiction to set out a linear, quantitative and absolute reality for the readers consumption and assurance. I think EVERYTHING is like the Kennedy assassination(s); riddled with inconsistencies, false trails, overlapping stories and considerations; distortions wrapped inside fabrications and coated with lies. The sooner we get over the idea that reality isn’t like this, the sooner we’ll be able to put together a world that fits our circumstances as they are; not as they never were and will never be. I’m not holding my breath.’
August 12, 2000
[comics] Tom Spurgeon writes disturbingly about his life, family and comics in You Can Lead a Messiah to Water, But You Can’t Make Him Walk. ‘In 1990, I was arrested for drunk driving and grand theft auto. I told the officer in charge I was borrowing the stolen car to meet my friends, “Maggie and Hopey.” The first place I drove a car was Bright’s Book Exchange on Highway 332, where I bought the first issue of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The day my friend was murdered I spent buying comics at Comics Carnival, including that issue of Cerebus where he throws the baby.’
[comics] Fantagraphics have released Joe Sacco’s Safe Area Gorazde a 240 page comic book about the war in Former Yugoslavia. ‘The New York Times about Sacco’s coverage of the war, referring to Sacco’s journalism as “a searing and amusing look at the motley collection of reporters, war profiteers, criminals, soldiers and hapless civilians trapped in a war zone? Sacco’s drawings are stark, realistic visions of the gray, depressing world of a land mangled by artillery shells and deformed by poverty.”‘
August 10, 2000
[comics] Fandom.com reports that Rick Veitch and DC Comics are in the process of making up over their long running disagreement regarding Swamp Thing #88. Rick Veitch on DC Comics: ‘I would have to say that I sense there is a change up there from ten years ago. There seems to be more openness and a willingness to solve some of these longstanding problems and to focus on the future. All of us who do comics recognize that we have to rebuild this industry from the ground up, and certainly, I think that the ABC line can be one of the pillars of the foundation.’
August 9, 2000
[comics] If you visit one comic related website — make it this one: NeoMcCARTHYISM. A tribute site to Brendan McCarthy one of the best (and strangest) artists to work for 2000AD.
August 6, 2000
[comics] Tom Spurgeon tells us how comics made him fat. ‘I take consolation only in that while I may be fucked, portions of this essay will be re-posted on the Internet after my inevitable obesity-related death.’
August 4, 2000
[comics] newsUnlimited takes a look at comics being turned into film after the sucess in the US of X-Men. [Includes quotes from Frank Miller, Grant Morrison, Dave Gibbons and Kurt Busiek] ‘Grant Morrison agrees: “Comics have shrunk into comic shops which now look like porn shops and people are frightened to go in there. When Superman was selling between 4m and 6m a month, you could buy them anywhere, in any shop. One of the things they must do is get them back on the streets, back in the hands of children, out of the hands of weird 35-year-old men who collect them and sustain the industry.”‘
[online comics] Scott Mcloud’s Zot Online. ‘Although it was a superhero series, Zot! quickly became known as “the superhero comic for people who hate superhero comics” — which isn’t the best sales strategy in the world, come to think of it… When people asked me to describe the series, I said it was “a cross between Peter Pan, Buck Rogers and Marshall McLuhan” which, uh, wasn’t much better come to think of it…’
August 3, 2000
[comics] Bugpowder — Another excellent comics weblog. [via Blue Lines]
August 2, 2000
[comics] upcomingmovies and comics2film cover Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell’s From Hell. ‘Inspired by “Jack the Ripper: The Final Solution” by the late Stephen Knight, “From Hell” suggests that Prince Albert “Eddy” Victor had fathered an illegitimate child, and when four Whitechapel prostitutes attempted to exploit this information, they were executed (the fifth victim was allegedly a case of mistaken identity). Complicit parties include Scotland Yard, the Freemasons and Victoria herself, while such London notables as Oscar Wilde and John “Elephant Man” Merrick make cameo appearances.’
July 31, 2000
[comics] For sale on eBay…. Neil Gaiman’s Leather Jacket! ‘From 1989 on, it was my leather jacket, worn day in and day out, all over the planet, for the next six years, all through the writing of Sandman. In 1996 I retired it, replaced it with a newer stranger Talanah Gamah and Ieish creation. It’s spent the last four years in a wardrobe, being worn only occasionally. (Recently I had it professionally redyed, so it’s a uniform black.)’ [via Windowseat Weblog]
[comics] Alan Moore interview in The Independent. ‘I was glad to have been forewarned as to his appearance. Draped in black, well over six feet tall, with feral eyes, unfashionably and unfeasibly long hair and beard, and fingers aswarm with silver scorpion rings, Moore looks like the kind of man who might have been thrown out of Black Sabbath for being too weird.’ [via C-Log]
July 29, 2000
[comics] SAVANT Magazine. Warren Ellis recommends it… so it must be good. ‘Never went to San Diego. Have the same feelings about heroin, quite frankly, which I’ve haven’t done either. There’s a little tiny nag to do it once, just once, and never again but deep down inside I’m terrified that one time wouldn’t be enough. Of course, the chances of meeting compulsively masturbating momma’s boys who want to yak my fucking ear off about Aquaman as I try to urinate in peace while in the midst of a grand-mal heroin binge are considerably slimmer.’
July 27, 2000
[comics] C-Log — a weblog about comics…
July 26, 2000
[comics] Jesus: The Dark Messiah Returns. Fantastic… ‘The water on my head feels like a baptism. Because it is. I’m born again. Again.’
July 25, 2000
[comics] The New York Times takes a look at Death Row Marv — based on the Sin City comic from Frank Miller. ‘In “Sin City,” before his death sentence is carried out, Marv has the opportunity to kill the cannibalistic sociopath who murdered the woman he loved, a prostitute named Goldie. That gave him a sense of vindication.’ [via Guardian Weblog]
July 23, 2000
[comics] I cannot believe I have not blogged Jack Chick’s website before now. This Was Your Life gives you a taste of Jack’s special magic… “Your life will be played back at the judgment. Will your name be in the Book of Life? This title is a worldwide favorite, with over 60 million sold in 65 languages!” Here’s Jack’s catalog of comics
July 22, 2000
[comics] A review of the latest Preacher collectionAll Hell’s a-Coming. ‘The characters continue to be chipped away at: Custer lost his eye in the previous volume, having it sucked out of its socket by God. We lose pretty much all the sympathy we had for Cassidy, and Starr, the most powerful man in the world, having lost not only an eye, all his hair and a leg, now loses his genitals to an attack dog. “My cock is in the bitch’s mouth,” he says, “and not in a good way.”‘
July 20, 2000
[comics] The Dave Sim Memorial Note From The President Archive — a collection of writings from the creator of Cerebus. Sim on Superman: “Superman, as originally conceived, as a force for the common man, as an answer to the mindless tyranny with which his name (as a term) had come to be identified, as a foe of corruption and injustice, as the embodiment of FDR-style liberalism and the epitome of the notion that one individual can, should and must, of necessity, make a difference; in all this Superman … Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster’s Superman… the only true Superman… stands as a beacon of freedom shining as brightly for an adult who holds the ideals of the character sacred as he does for a child seeing him and learning them for the first time. As a symbol of the nearly limitless power of imagination, he has inspired creators for five decades to take up pen and brush in pursuit of excellence, to weave our tapestry once more. To aspire; that one day we might know a tenth… a hundredth of the greatness implied in knowing you are Jerry Siegel. You are Joe Shuster. You are the creators of Superman. And that no monumental and tragic injustice can strip you of that mantle. As comic book creators, this is our greatest heritage… and our greatest debt.” [via Come in Alone]
July 18, 2000
[comics] Frank Miller is apparently going to do a comic book about the life of Jesus. Can you imagine it? [via The Warren Ellis Forum]
July 17, 2000
[comics] I Just Type points out that I maybe wrong about Stan Lee and that the X-Men movie had a good opening weekend….
July 15, 2000
[weblogs] Every wondered what the word Barbelith means? Grant Morrison: “The word ‘BARBELiTH’ is derived from a dream I had when I was about 20 or 21 and coincided with my first structured ‘magical’ experiences and a minor nervous breakdown (in the dream, BARBELiTH was the name of some higher dimension or alternate reality). Like a lot of stuff in INVISIBLES I used the name unconsciously when I needed something to call the red circle that represents our Universe’s placental twin. I’d taken the etymology as far as ‘bearded stone’, which seems much less interesting and less weirdly appropriate than ‘alien stone’. My real life is getting more like the comic every day (in ways I should have suspected but didn’t really expect on this scale). There’s more on the red circle and its many meanings in DOOM PATROL #54, I just realised. That issue was written in near-trance so fuck only knows what’s been trying to get through all these years.”
[comics] Yet another interview with Warren Ellis“I suspect that, to successfully write superhero books through your thirties and forties, you either have to have genuine brain damage — Grant Morrison and Alan Moore come to mind — or be genuinely infantile. Grant and Alan and a bunch of others write great superhero comics because they are mad and that sick energy infuses the work. Too many others look more and more to me like confused, ageing writers-become-hacks making a vampiric living off the young. I’d rather not end up as the comics version of Art Linkletter. Or Krusty The Klown.”
July 14, 2000
[comics] The wisdom of Preacher“I mean look at me: My head looks like a penis, I’ve got one leg, one ear, one eye, and my cock’s been replaced with a rubber tube.”
July 12, 2000
[comics] I’m trying to avoid the X-Men but Salon profiles Stan Lee and manages to mention Jack Kirby. It quite literally amazes me that the media still believe the myth that Lee created most of the Marvel characters. Lee was just the editor of those comics. “Jack Kirby returned to the company that year and, lore has it, found Lee sobbing while movers took the furniture out of Marvel’s offices.” [via Slashdot]
July 9, 2000
[comics] Ramblings 2000 the comic book industry news and rumours column is dead. Rich Johnstone’s column has moved to Next Planet Over“WELCOME, SWINE. Hello, my name’s Rich Johnston, and I’ve sold out.”
July 8, 2000
[comics] Warren Ellis discusses if corporate-owned comic icons like Batman should be “saved”. ‘Superheroes are ultimately difficult to take seriously. And a mass audience wants, on some level, to take its mass-market violent action entertainment with a degree of seriousness. And what we’re talking about here is a virgin who can run up walls after being bitten by a nuked spider and a bald rich single old man who lives in a big remote house with his leather-clad “students.”‘
July 7, 2000
[Buy This Comic] One of the finest mainstream comics ever published. I love this comic, I hate this comic… Batman: Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller. [Review] “This should be agony. I should be a mass of aching muscles… broken, spent, unable to move… and, were I an older man, I surely would… but I’m a man of thirty… of twenty again… The rain on my chest is a baptism… I am born again.”
July 1, 2000
[comics] Buy this comic: Hicksville by Dylan Horrocks. Here’s a review
June 29, 2000
[comics] Excellent Sequential Tart interview with Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon. “Oh, yeah, why do I hate the Internet. I don’t really hate the Internet. I mean, you’ve got to remember that a lot of people probably see the comments I make on the side in the Preacher letter columns. And, uh, it’s possibly understandable that they take it more seriously than the rest of [what they hear]. I’m sure the Internet is an incredibly useful tool. I’m not likely to use it any time in the immediate future because I don’t have a computer.”